Master of Tasks

Norman G. Robinson III Feb 22, 2018
The Avengers #196

One of the genuinely formidable villains in Marvel is an obscure character named Taskmaster. The Taskmaster's first full appearance is in Avengers #196, written by the teams of Michelinie and Busiek with artists Perez, Buscema, and Giordano. Note the apocalyptic hood and skull mask on the cover look pretty intimidating and you know he is a villain.

Taskmaster can copy any skill just by watching a superhero once. Marvel has created the term photographic reflexes to reference his ability. This is a partial list of his current photographic reflex arsenal: archery skill like Hawkeye, wields a shield like Cap, master swordsman on par with Silver Samurai, a high-level martial artist like Electra, as deadly a marksman as the Punisher, and the athletic ability of Daredevil. He can imitate any skill the writers can create.

The Taskmaster is a character like no other, and his comic book first appearance should be in your portfolio regardless of a catalyst. There are specific long-term keys that you should hold.

If we look at the returns for Avengers #196; this comic has had its ups and downs. Recently this issue has declined in very-fine minus (7.5) and caused a negative ROI of 21.4%. Unfortunately, the profit trend is in a downward spiral. However, when profits are in decline, the cost is reduced. Now is the time to purchase this comic book in 9.2 or 9.4 grade on the cheap.

Over the last three months, there have been 23 recorded sales which are not bad (GoCollect). When they finally show Taskmaster in the movies, or in a Netflix series, Avengers #196 will increase in value. At that point, his first appearance will shoot to new heights of profit margin. Additionally, the volume of copies available will be few and rarity will be further constricted. Don't be too late, or the price will go through the roof. Use Taskmaster's photographic reflexes to pin a copy of Avengers #196 to the wall with Hawkeye's arrows.

Most Active Recent Release

Dark Nights Metal #3 (Mattina Variant Cover) is ranked 15th most active recent releases (GoCollect). The writer was Scott Snyder with art by the team of Capullo and Glapion. The sales have been at a total record of 14 with potential for slight skew. Making this analysis difficult because we don't have a lot to go on.

When has a third issue of a comic series been as valuable as $84 in near mint condition within a couple of months? This should be noted as it shows some level of demand intensity, probably not enough to sustain but still, there is demand for this comic. After all, this series has been top-rated and sought after with even second prints of #1 going 100% ROI and upward. The Dark Nights Metal series has tie-ins and new amalgam characters like the Batman Who Laughs.

The numbers don't look good; current near mint (9.8) has on average $70.57 value but unfortunately, show only a 2.3% decrease in profit. If we skim the surface the details of an investment in this comic jump out; on December 17, 2017 one near mint sold on eBay for $84.96. Now, roughly ten days ago that same grade issue, sold for $43. This is essentially a 49% loss of profit! I think you are better off just buying a raw copy around $20. Please don't be lost in the dark on this issue.

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